By Prisca Manyiwa
Zimbabwean across the country have expressed anger over the currently approved 2022 local authorities’ budget by government.
Business communities and residents in different parts of the country were left disgruntled with the rates that local authorities adopted in the midst of hardships and low income across sectors.
Majority of councils have adopted budgets ranging between 100 to 300% increase, a move which has left many Zimbabweans demanding an increase on their wages and salaries.
Residents who spoke to Post On Sunday last week in different towns and districts said, the reason why local authorities are struggling with debts is because of continuous increase of bills, rates that are beyond the reach of many.
“Teacher are demanding pay rise, they can’t afford to board a bus to school, what of paying bills? Asked one Harare resident.
All workers both in the private and public sectors are bearing the brunt due to changes in the economy with prices also increasing in US dollars all this cause by the increase in fuel,” added Tapfumaneyi Zhiwaki from Gweru.
Meg Welneck, Kwekwe businessman said the adjustments by local authorities are just but an addition of salt on an open wound.
“Residents are complaining of service delivery, some from Mbizo 15, 7 and Chicago go for days even weeks without water then council send a bill owing ZWL $9 200, it does not make sense,” said Welneck.
Politician, Mbizo constituency aspiring candidate, Vongaishe Mupereri, slammed the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) T for failing to represent the people of Kwekwe by advocating for an affordable budget.
Citizen for Coalition Change, candidate and elected Member of Parliament, Settlement Chikwinya said the consultative budget meeting was poorly attended though it does not reflect the view of the residents across the board.
Local authorities in Zimbabwe a facing difficult times to deliver service due to challenging economic environment, which has despondency between the use of US dollars and the Zimbabwe dollar. Residents pay in ZWL while fuel, chemicals and other necessities for daily running of business of council business especially from private players need US dollars.
Meanwhile, Nurses have threatened to join the wagon if government does not reverse the suspension of 135 000 teachers who have since cited incapacitation to report for duty.
Nurses said in a statement that the Secretary General of the Zimbabwe Professional Nurses Union, Douglas Chikobvu said, “We still have myopic technocrats who continue to parade ignorance towards the welfare of civil servants. 20% salary increment is a pittance considering that the salaries of most civil servants fall below the poverty datum line, those in authority should be guided by factual information and evidence based approaches when filling in policy gaps”.
The Zimbabwe Socio-economic democrats (ZSD) leader Nkosikhona Ndlovu said Zimbabweans are suffering and the government is portraying ignorance first by its reaction of suspending teachers as it earlier did to nurses, a sign that the leadership has lost touch with reality on the ground.
Ndlovu who recently launch his political outfit in the Midlands said the problem is not with the local authorities but the country’s economy.
“I equally urge citizens to attend public meetings, be it council or parliamentary gatherings so that they air their views, if rejecting they do so in one voice and with unity of accord”